72andSunny Takes Agency of the Year in Advertising Age Agency A-List

Carat Is Media Agency of the Year; Steve Stoute Is Executive of the Year; and Peterson Milla Hooks Takes Comeback of the Year

Jan 28, 2013, 10:22 ET from Advertising Age

NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Advertising Age today released its closely watched, annual Agency A List ranking along with its editors' picks for special honors, the 2013 Agency Executive of the Year, the 2013 Standouts, and the top 10 Agencies to Watch.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130128/DE49085 )

Southern Calif.-based 72andSunny gets the top spot after taking big risks that produced substantial payoffs for clients including Samsung, Google, Activision, Sonos, Carl's Jr. and Hardees. Founded in 2004, the agency is part of MDC Partners and has an outpost in Amsterdam.

The hot shop tops a list of the 10 best agencies in the country, as chosen by Ad Age editors:

  1. 72andSunny (MDC Partners)
  2. 360i (Dentsu)
  3. Grey (WPP)
  4. R/GA (Interpublic Group of Cos.)
  5. Droga5
  6. Pereira & O'Dell (Grupo ABC)
  7. La Comunidad
  8. Mullen (Interpublic Group of Cos.)
  9. Razorfish (Publicis Groupe)
  10. Deutsch (Interpublic Group of Cos.)

"The big brand ideas ad agencies are generating for marketers are no longer limited to traditional advertising," said Abbey Klaassen, editor of Advertising Age. "We saw great ads and marketing ideas out of every agency we honored. But we also saw new consumer products, such as the Nike+ FuelBand from R/GA, and even grassroots movements, like Lowe SSP3's campaign to demobilize guerrillas in the jungles of Colombia. It points to how exciting this industry has become and the endless opportunities for smart agencies who think of themselves as true business problem solvers."

72andSunny joins a select group of agencies that have won Agency of the Year honors from Ad Age. In recent years those have included: McGarryBowen (2011, 2009); Wieden & Kennedy (2010); CP&B (2008, 2004); Goodby Silverstein & Partners (2007); The Consumer (2006); BBDO (2005); Berlin Cameron (2003); Deutsch (2002); and Ogilvy (2001).

Also recognized for excellence in the past year:

  • Agency Executive of the Year: Steve Stoute. A former record-industry executive, Stoute is the founder of Translation. The agency turned in strong performance in 2012, and works with clients such as State Farm, McDonald's, Coca-Cola and A-B InBev. 
  • International Agency of the Year: Colombia-based LoweSSP3, a member of the Interpublic Group of Companies.
  • Multicultural Agency of the Year: Omnicom Group's Latinworks, for the second consecutive year.
  • Media Agency of the Year: Carat, a unit of Aegis.
  • Comeback Agency of the Year: Minneapolis-based independent Peterson Milla Hooks, for finding its mojo again after the loss of primary client Target.

"After years of talking about lines blurring between TV and digital, and PR and social, we've finally reached a point where silos have been smashed and smart marketing ideas can come from anywhere," said Rupal Parekh, agency editor at Advertising Age. "Last year, we saw a one-time search agency use digital data to conceive a visionary brand campaign for a major packaged-good player. And we saw an agency that started out with multicultural-marketing roots stage a music festival that touched all types of consumers for the country's biggest beer brand. This shift makes our A-List competition even more exciting and dynamic."

Separately, Ad Age partner Creativity named Wieden & Kennedy its agency of the year, a repeat honor for the Portland, Ore.-based independent. Creativity editors praised the agency's ability to connect with consumers on an emotional level through work for clients such as Nike and Procter & Gamble.

More Standouts & Agencies to Watch

Each year, the Ad Age editors also highlight a group of agencies they believe should be on marketers' radar. The 2013 list of Standouts includes: EVB (Omnicom Group); Digitas (Publicis Groupe); Barton F. Graf 9000; Ogilvy (WPP); KBS+ (MDC Partners); Fleishman-Hillard (Omnicom Group); Anomaly (MDC Partners); AKQA (WPP); PHD (Omnicom Group); and Conill (Publicis Groupe).

"These agencies are reversing sales declines, dusting off old brands and making them exciting again, and fueling engagement with consumers whose attention is increasingly spread among devices and social-media networks," added Parekh. "It's no easy job. Adland's fight against commoditization is tougher than ever, but I believe the agencies in our A-List issue are winning that battle."

Ten agencies made the editors' "Agencies To Watch" list for their positive momentum, success in attracting new clients, and ability to make smart changes to their business models. They comprise: Rokkan (Publicis Groupe); CAA Marketing; Spark (Publicis Groupe); Dieste (Omnicom Group); Targetcast (MDC Partners); Silver & Partners; JWT (WPP); Havas Worldwide (Havas); Vitro (MDC Partners); SapientNitro.

Join the A-List Celebration on March 5th

Ad Age will celebrate the agencies featured in its 2013 Agency A-List issue at an event in Manhattan on March 5 at Arena. For more information or to attend the party, visit this link.

The full Agency A-List can be found here and in today's issue of Advertising Age. For reprints of the issue, please contact Laura Picariello at lpicariello@crain.com.

About the Ad Age Agency A List
The Advertising Age Agency A List has been celebrating the best agencies in the advertising and marketing business since the mid-1970s. Ad Age editors make their selections based on creativity, financial performance, and ability to positively impact a client's business. The franchise expanded in recent years to honor a broader range of shops and reflect changes in the marketing and media business.

About Advertising Age
Advertising Age is the leading global source of news, intelligence and conversation for the marketing and media community. Ongoing coverage of strategic topics like CMO Strategies and data-driven marketing is complemented by breaking news on digital, social media, and more. The 83-year-old media group produces more than 15 original rankings each year, including the 100 Leading National Advertisers and 100 Leading Media Companies lists, the Digital A-List, and the annual Agency Report.

SOURCE Advertising Age